NodeJS vs JavaScript – What are the Major Differences?

March 27, 2024
NodeJS vs Javascript

JavaScript technologies have become crucial tools for building websites and apps. Different JavaScript libraries, frameworks, APIs, and tools help developers code the front end and back end of web applications seamlessly.
Most full-stack JavaScript developers choose the Node.js server runtime to power the applications’ backends. Studying the Node.js vs. JavaScript comparison can help you understand the precise reasons why these technologies are ideal for web development.

This article discusses the comparison of JavaScript vs NodeJS in detail and analyses where to use one over the other.

What is JavaScript?

JavaScript is a lightweight, open-source, object-oriented scripting language that helps build interactive, dynamic HTML pages. The programming language also helps build standard software solutions like web apps, dynamic sites, APIs, streaming apps, etc. It is basically an interpreted scripting language where the code is executed and runs on the web browser.
Originally, JavaScript was designed to build immersive user interfaces, but developers found it helpful for both frontend and backend development. Due to the immense application of JavaScript in the backend, several server-side technologies have been introduced, making it a full-stack programming language.
When discussing the Node.js vs Javascript syntax comparison, it is essential to look at the advantages and disadvantages of both.

Pros of JavaScript:

  • It is an open-source object oriented programming language that allows developers to use it for free.
  • The technology is light-weight, fast, and flexible.
  • It supports cross-compilation and also interfaces, modules, and classes.
  • The language is viable for use in both frontend and backend development of web apps.
  • It helps to build interactive, user-friendly, and dynamic web apps.
  • JavaScript is ideal for both simple apps and large-scale solutions.

Cons of JavaScript

  • Javascript requires high accuracy in the code, and even minor errors can lead to code failure.
  • As it is a dynamic language, the chances of error from the developer’s side are higher.
  • The language lacks support for multiple inheritance and only provides single inheritance support.

What is Node.js?

Node.js is an open-source and completely free cross-platform JavaScript runtime environment that enables JavaScript-powered apps to run on the server. It comes with an extensive set of modules that help with web development projects. Web apps powered by Node.js can run on several platforms, such as Windows and Linux.

Node.js provides event-driven, non-blocking (asynchronous) I/O that helps build high-speed and scalable web apps. It is viable for use in a range of app development projects, such as real-time apps, enterprise-grade solutions, command-base apps, and REST API servers.

Pros of Node.js

  • It is entirely open-source, which makes it free to use.
  • It is a lightweight solution with standard modules that help to build an application quickly.
  • The cross-platform server can run on Windows, Linux, Unix, Mac OS X, etc.
  • It powers the app with high-speed performance and is free of buffering.
  • The libraries of the Node.js runtime environment API are all asynchronous and non-blocking.
  • It is based on the V8 JavaScript Engine in Google Chrome, which basically executes JavaScript code and helps make superfast applications.

Cons of Node.js

  • It lacks consistency, and the API changes regularly, which requires developers to make significant changes in the code for proper maintenance.
  • It fails to support multi-threading programming, making it unfit for building heavy computing apps.

Both the technologies are based on the same language, which might make it difficult to understand the use of Node JS and JavaScript. Basically JavaScript is helpful with making interactive HTML pages and Node JS can be understood as one of the leading JavaScript frameworks. Let us study their differences in detail.

Nodejs vs JavaScript – 5 Key Differences

Now that you have a good idea of the two technologies let’s discuss the main differences between JavaScript and Node.js.

1. What are these technologies? 

JavaScript is an open-source scripting language focused on client-side development. It is built into HTML and Java and can help developers create beautiful user interfaces for a range of web solutions.
In contrast, Node.js is a runtime environment that runs on the V8 JavaScript engine and facilitates executing JavaScript code outside a web browser. It is focussed on server-side development of web applications. The distributed system helps craft real-time apps with super-speed performance.

2. Which Browsers do they Support?

The JavaScript apps can run on several engines like Firefox’s Spider Monkey, Safari’s JavaScript Core, and also the V8 Google Chrome. JavaScript programming can yield phenomenal apps that can run on any of the web browsers. So, the code does not require support for any specific engine like V8.

3. Non-Blocking Operations

To access operating systems, specific non-blocking tasks are required. While JavaScript provides basic objects, all of them are OS-centric. In contrast, Node.js can run non-blocking tasks for specific operating systems via JavaScript programming. It is free from operating system-specific constraints.

4. Client-Side & Server-Side Capabilities

The JavaScript programming language comes with client-side capabilities and helps developers design interactive elements for website visitors. Users might perform specific business operations, like user validation, during which the dynamic page displays required visuals smoothly for a set time interval or via an Ajax call.
In contrast, Node.js is ideal for non-blocking accessibility or execution of operating systems. The non-blocking operation usually revolves around generating or executing a shell script. Further, it retrieves unique hardware-related information over a single call, which allows it to obtain the system’s installed certificate details. Consequently, it can also perform a large number of desired specified tasks.

5. Primary Use

The main use of the JavaScript language is building a wide range of interactive user interfaces. In contrast, the primary use of Node.js is to provide the server runtime environment. It comes with a Node package manager that consists of over 500 modules and helps with handling concurrent requests.

Wrapping Up

That was all about comparing NodeJS vs. JavaScript. The two technologies help build high-speed websites and solutions. At JS Panther, we have expert Node.js developers you can hire to build web pages and apps.
We can provide you with a senior or junior JavaScript technology expert based on your requirements.


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